January 13, 2015 | Categories: Health
You don’t have to live at the spa, spend money on expensive products, or change everything about your beauty routine in order to have a glowing, healthy complexion. Here, dermatologists share the simple secrets to achieving perfect skin.
They clock at least 7 hours of sleep.
Beauty sleep is real: Unless you have a team of makeup artists waiting in your bathroom every morning, it’s hard to look gorgeous and youthful when you’re skimping on Zzs. If you’ve ever woken up with dark circles under your eyes, you already know what research has shown—that a lack of sleep can contribute to periorbital hyperpigmentation, a.k.a. “raccoon eyes.” And a 2010 study from researchers in Sweden showed that a group of participants were rated as more attractive after eight hours of shut-eye compared to when they were sleep deprived.
They know how to relax.
It is important to find your inner Zen zone. Chronic tension and physical stress causes surges of cortisol in the body, a hormone that can break down collagen and elastin, ultimately leading to wrinkles, says Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor at the Yale Department of Dermatology. Stress can also worsen certain skin conditions, like psoriasis or rosacea, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Maintaining the water content of the skin is crucial for healthy skin. Moisturizers slow down water loss through the superficial layers of the skin and strengthen your skin barrier, Ho says. If you have sensitive skin, look for products with “ceramides,” one of the three types of lipids or fats in the skin. When the air is dry in the winter, people with flawless skin know to ramp up their moisturizer use on their entire bodies. Then, when the air is more humid in warmer months, they can ease up. “People with perfect skin are in touch with how dry their skin may be and how important it is to keep skin moist,” says David J. Leffell, M.D., professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine.
If you want a fresh-faced glow all the time, you’ll need to log a few hours a week getting sweaty. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week. Research presented at last year’s annual American Medical Society for Sports Medicine meeting showed that previously sedentary subjects who started a regular exercise routine actually experienced a reversal in their skin’s signs of aging. In fact, the participants’ skin “looked like that of a much younger person [under the microscope], and all that they had done differently was exercise,” study leader Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and exercise science at McMaster, told The New York Times when the results were first reported.
People with healthy, flawless skin know that the right routine matters more than the latest hot product. If it sounds too good to be true or fails the common sense test, it probably won’t work, Leffell says. “People with flawless skin save their money for products that work: moisturizers, sun protection, [and] medications that have been proven to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, like retinols,” he says.
Check out these nighttime habits of people with great skin.
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